48 hours in New York: Trip Planning

ANA's new First and Business Class cabins look amazing. Let's put them to the test.

48 hours in New York: Trip Planning
ANA B777-300ER “THE Room” Business Class NRT-JFK
British Airways First Lounge New York JFK
ANA B777-300ER “THE Suite” First Class JFK-HND
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo Haneda
Singapore Airlines B777-300ER First Class HND-SIN


Towards the end of 2019, I wrote about five airline products I was aiming to review in 2020. We’re barely one month in, and I’m ready to cross one (or technically, two) of them off the list.

It’s safe to say that no one saw ANA’s new First and Business Class seats coming. Unlike certain airlines which announce new products three years in advance (and go on to win rather dodgy awards for doing so), ANA gave one month’s notice, then deployed the seats on the Tokyo to London route without much fanfare.

I can’t imagine why they’d do that, because the new seats look amazing. The new First Class (called “The Suite“) fixes many of the outstanding issues with ANA’s old First Class, while adding the totally-unnecessary-yet-completely-awesome feature of the world’s first 4K inflight entertainment screen.

LHS: ANA New First Class | RHS: ANA Old First Class

But as good as First Class looks, this may be a flight where Business Class is the bigger draw. That’s because ANA’s new product (called “The Room“) is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The width, the personal space, the doors…it’s hard to believe this is “only” Business Class.

LHS: ANA New Business Class | RHS: ANA Old Business Class

Unfortunately, the new seats are only available on selected B777-300ER (B77W) aircraft, and only on certain routes.

FlightDepartArrive
NH 10NRT 16:40JFK 15:10
NH 9JFK 10:45NRT 15:00 (+1)
NH 110HND 10:20JFK 09:00
NH 109JFK 16:55HND 21:10 (+1)
NH 203HND 00:50FRA 05:20
NH 204FRA 11:30HND 06:50 (+1)
NH 211HND 11:40LHR 15:25
NH 212LHR 19:00HND 15:50 (+1)
All flights operated daily
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Award space is generally hard to find, but I did spot a glut of seats around the CNY period on the Tokyo to New York route. After some frenzied searching and a few nail-biting phone calls, I scored the jackpot- The Room on the outbound leg, The Suite on the return. I love it when a plan comes together.

The catch? Thanks to award space restrictions, I’ll have just 48 hours to spend in New York.

Flights

Outbound leg: ANA new Business Class

DepartArrive
NH 8020635 SIN1430 NRT
NH101640 NRT1510 JFK

For the outbound flight from Singapore to New York, I redeemed a Business Class Star Alliance partner award for 105,000 KrisFlyer miles + S$412.50 of taxes and surcharges, flying ANA on both SIN-NRT and NRT-JFK.

I would much rather have booked this as a mixed SQ/NH award so I could at least have saved the ~S$130 of fuel surcharges from SIN-NRT, but there were no Business Saver awards on the day NH10 had a seat (probably on account of the incredible 51% off awards in February).

My itinerary ticketed immediately, and I was able to select my seats via the ANA website. If you have a B77W with the new Business Class, you’ll see the following seat map. Note how row 20 is the final row of Business Class.

If you see the following seat map where the final row of Business Class is 21 (or 17), you have a B77W with the older Business Class.

Inbound leg: ANA new First Class

DepartArrive
NH 1091655 JFK2110 (+1) HND
SQ 6352250 HND0525 (+1) SIN

For the inbound flight from New York to Singapore, I redeemed a First Class Star Alliance partner award for 148,500 KrisFlyer miles + US$42.70 (~S$58) of taxes and surcharges, flying ANA on JFK-HND and Singapore Airlines from HND-SIN.

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You may have noticed there’s a big discrepancy in taxes and surcharges between the outbound leg (S$412.50) and inbound leg (~S$58). That’s because:

  1. I don’t need to pay any fuel surcharges on the HND-SIN leg, as it’s on Singapore Airlines metal
  2. The fuel surcharges from JFK-HND are a measly US$1. Yes, US$1. I can’t believe it too.

Fuel dumping?
Interestingly enough, if you book JFK-HND without the HND-SIN leg, your fuel surcharge on ANA increases to US$87. What we have here on our hands is called a “fuel dump”, albeit a highly inefficient one.


It’s beyond the scope of this article, but a “fuel dump” involves adding on an additional leg on a cash ticket in the hope that the savings from reduced fuel surcharges outweigh the additional fare costs. You then throw away the last leg by skipping the flight.

In our particular example however, the dump is considered “inefficient” because someone who intended to fly from JFK-HND would see no point in adding a HND-SIN leg and throwing it away. What he’d save in fuel surcharges (US$86) would be more than offset by the additional fare (US$7,268.14). I’ve never done a fuel dump before because I think the hassle and risk aren’t worth it, but if you’re so inclined, you’ll find much more efficient dumping opportunities out there.

For good measure, I’m going to throw in a review of Singapore Airlines’ 2013 First Class too. I was looking through the previous trip reports on The Milelion and realised that although I’ve flown the product several times, I’ve never actually written a report of my own.

Singapore Airlines 2013 First Class seat

Lounges

British Airways First Lounge New York JFK

British Airways First Lounge JFK

ANA uses the newly-renovated British Airways First lounge in JFK for its First Class passengers. Although I won’t have access to the Concorde Room and my departure time is too early for ala carte dining or the Elemis Spa, it should still make for a visually-impressive review.

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Unfortunately, I hear BA really skimps on the catering during windows when its own flights aren’t departing, so I don’t have high hopes for the F&B.

ANA Suite Lounge Haneda

ANA Suite Lounge Haneda

But all isn’t lost for lounge dining, because I’ll have the opportunity to review the ANA Suite Lounge in Haneda on the return leg. This features ANA’s new ala carte dining experience, called “DINING h”.

This wasn’t available the last time I passed through, and by all accounts appears to be a fine addition to the lounge. I’m quite excited at the idea of getting a high-end Japanese meal without paying Japanese restaurant prices, and can see myself having more than a few wagyu steaks.

Hotels

SpringHill Suites Times Square South

I’m visiting New York in the dead of winter, and as much as I wanted to review a flagship property like the St Regis New York or Park Hyatt New York, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend points when room rates were dirt cheap.

I ended up booking the humble SpringHill Suites Times Square South for just US$106 a night, taxes included. All I really need is a place to sleep and work for the short time I’m there, and it helps that the property doesn’t charge a fee to receive packages (which is becoming a common thing in New York).

Conclusion

48 hours in New York City isn’t a long time at all, but I’ve already covered the essentials on my previous visits there. This time round it’s going to be a very focused itinerary- pick up Amazon shopping, visit Magnolia Bakery (try the banana pudding, thank me later), stock up on things we pay way too much for in Singapore, and then home we go.

What would you guys do if you had 48 hours in New York?

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Bliep

I tried to find ANA seats with the Room to NRT but was unable to. How did you find NH802 with the new 77w?

Bliep

Ah, is the new 77w only on NRT-JFK and not the SIN-NRT leg?

aaron wong

correct. only on the second leg

freedom

Last year, my two Cathay trips to NYC, one is 24-hour and one is 48-hour. Nothing much to do in NYC in winter and it’s cold….

cheesecake

Eat southern fried chicken and slurp on baked bone marrow at Blue Bird Cafe in the dead of night when jet lagged.

cheesecake

Sorry I got my restaurant names in a twist, it’s Blue Ribbon Brasserie!
https://www.blueribbonrestaurants.com/restaurants/blue-ribbon-brasserie

Sammy

the steak in the lounge looks so good!

hope to read a report regarding on the lounge!

Ali

I live banana pudding from Magnolia Bakrry

ksp210

The last time I had 24 hours in NYC I did the following:

1) Took the #7 train to its terminal station in Flushing and ate my way back to to mid-town.

2) Activated my Google Fi SIM.

So glad I did #2. Took me days to recover from #1.

RTK

How does Google Fi SIM help in Singapore? Now am really curious!

ksp210

Not in Singapore. But when roaming outside Singapore as I’m a data light roamer and make frequent short trips to multiple countries, so many of the plans offered by Singtel/Starhub, which have fixed minimum usage end up being too expensive. Fi has a plan for US$20/month for the line + $10 per GB of data. Data is charged (pretty much by the kB) only when consumed and can be used anywhere in the world (except the handful of financially sanctioned countries like Iran) at no additional cost. You can pause the line (via the app) anytime you want for up… Read more »

RTK

Oh wow. Thank you for the detailed and super useful response!

Been a Pixel user (2, and now 4) and I understand that they come with eSim support for Fi. Need to explore if that simplifies need for a local address.

On #1, If you’re using a Revolut card, and a friend’s US address, why would you need a US domiciled profile for Google Pay? Not sure I got that bit.

Thanks again!!

jabba

Would there be a review of Springhill Suites? I’m planning to stay here soon, but hotel says they waive delivery charges for only first 2 packages – anything more costs USD10 per package – was this your experience?

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